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Arachnoiditis Syndrome

Arachnoiditis Syndrome: Unraveling the Myth and Understanding the Reality

The Myth about the Arachnoiditis Syndrome?

Arachnoiditis refers to the clumping together and tethering of the descending nerves to the inner lining of the water jacket that contains the fluid supporting the brain and the cord in the spinal canal.

Myeloscopy’s Role

Myeloscopy is a procedure where the fluid-filled space within the water jacket (dura) is explored with the patient conscious and able to attest to the presence of pain or symptoms. This examination reveals that such clumping is rare and is only symptomatic when the adjacent Dura is inflamed. X-ray analysis during this procedure indicates that the inflammation is located at the disc and foramen.

Origins of Pain in Arachnoiditis Syndrome

Arachnoiditis Syndrome Sufferers often experience a combination of back, buttock, and leg pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and widespread “Dysaesthaesia”. The symptoms may vary from pins and needles to intense pain across the back, or sensations like cold or scalding water.

Challenges in Diagnosis

The diverse range of symptoms presented by Arachnoiditis Syndrome Sufferers often leads to misdiagnosis. Physicians might attribute the symptoms to psychological factors, malingering, or directly to the Arachnoiditis Syndrome.

Pinpointing the Sources of Pain

Aware state surgical examination allows patients to provide feedback during surgery, guiding the surgeon to the precise point responsible for the pain. This live approach enables accurate identification of the causal level in Arachnoiditis Syndrome Sufferers.

The Promise of Targeted Treatment

Single targeted surgery, known as ‘Foraminoplasty’, can precisely treat Arachnoiditis Syndrome Sufferers with minimal tissue damage and without the need for General Anaesthesia.

Conventional Surgery: The Downfalls

Traditional multi-level open surgery can exacerbate the symptoms of Arachnoiditis Syndrome Sufferers. It carries risks like blood loss, potential nerve and tissue damage, and extended post-operative care. It’s also not as effective as Foraminoplasty in treating Arachnoiditis Syndrome.

Thank you - From the Spinal Foundation